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Thread: breastfeeding a 4-month-old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default breastfeeding a 4-month-old

    I have some questions regarding my four-month-old EBF son. We've had quite a few problems in the past, so I'm not totally confident in breastfeeding, even though he's gaining weight just fine. We worked with a LC during month 2 to help with an oversupply/overactive letdown that led to a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.

    Anyway, his eating habits have changed all of a sudden. He doesn't eat for nearly as long as he used to--sometimes only about 5 minutes on the breast after about 3 hours (his normal interval). I'm not sure if this is normal--when he did this before, it led to the imbalance, which is why I'm curious. Also, could he be letting me know I should extend the interval? He does often seem fussy around that 3 hour mark, however.

    Also, he is really distractable, so I'm not sure if that has something to do with it. He's distracted by everything--me, the ceiling fan, my husband. I'm not really sure what to do about that either. We nurse in side-lying position since that helped so much when we were working on my oversupply, so it's hard to nurse in a different room in my house other than my bedroom.

    Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions regarding 4-month-old eating habits!

  2. #2

    Default Re: breastfeeding a 4-month-old

    The distractibility could be part of it, but babies that age can also just be really efficient at getting the milk out. And if you have a fast flow, he may be getting a lot of milk in 5 minutes. It's not at all unusual for babies to nurse for a shorter amount of time as they get older.

    Are there any other signs that are causing you to worry about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: breastfeeding a 4-month-old

    All of this sounds very familiar to me! Right around 3.5-4 months my son started doing the same things. I do think he was getting more foremilk for a while, all I did was just persistently offer to nurse him when I thought he was hungry, and if he didn't eat much I would offer again, from the same side, before he took his next nap.

    Maybe instead of trying to extend the interval between his feedings you could just try to get him to keep at it on one side until you feel like he's made some real progress. Last thing you probably want is to hurt your supply because you're waiting too long to nurse, even though I'm sure he would let you know if he wasn't getting enough.

    I guess I was kind of block feeding without knowing it, and sometimes the other side would get kinda full so I would pump if it got uncomfortable and he didn't take the other side, but the second his diapers looked even a tinge green I tried to make sure he was emptying one side before offering the other.

    His distractibility is still there, but it has gotten better slowly over the last month. He is now 5 months and is eating more efficiently but thoroughly. Recently his signals have gotten a lot better as well. He lets me know when he just needs a break by pulling away and messing with my shirt, fusses if he needs a burp, and then will gnaw at my shoulder if he wants more.

    I think you'll find your little one doing the same kind of communicating soon - it's all a process, and the second you think you've got him figured out he'll probably throw you a curve ball!
    I'm with you on the whole lack of confidence in breastfeeding thing, but I'm trying to tell myself that being unsure of things makes me that much more attentive and more likely to do it right - I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job!!!
    mom to Thomas Brocke - born May 5, 2010
    7 lbs 10 oz, 21 inches long
    8 lbs 3 oz at two weeks
    12 pounds, 24 1/2 inches at 2 months
    15 pounds at 4 months, 26 3/4 inches - he's gonna be a tall one!
    17 pounds at 6 months

    Took us almost 10 weeks, but we successfully weaned from the nipple shield. Boobie au naturale!
    and at home and like a machine at work!

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